Barley, Wild Rice and Cranberry Pilaf

Every now and then I get on a kick for a specific ingredient and then search like hell to find it in as many recipes as possible. The most recent mission: Barley.

Barley was never really in our meal rotation {pre- or post-vegetarian dining}. No rhyme or reason behind it either. Just never really ate it. Or cooked it.

Then I came across this recipe for a barley, wild rice and cranberry pilaf. I did make a few tweaks to the recipe, but definitely not as many as usual. The original recipe didn’t have a single nightshade hidden in it. Or any of my other intolerances for that matter (dairy, cinnamon, and msg). Which was just plain shocking and exciting.

And because I’m one ballsy gal, I made it last night for the first time when we were having company. Thank goodness it was a good. Or my street cred would have dropped a notch.


Barley, Wild Rice and Cranberry Pilaf

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 -6


  • 3/4 cup pearl barley
  • 1/4 cup wild rice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 cups nightshade free vegetable broth
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup red onion chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup walnuts coarsely chopped


  1. In medium saucepan with lid, add barley, wild rice and veg broth and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook about 30-40 minutes.
  3. While barley-wild rice is cooking, pour orange juice over dried cranberries and set aside.
  4. Put a few tsp of olive oil in small frying pan and cook onions and walnuts until slightly browned.
  5. When barley is done, drain cranberries reserving 5 tablespoons orange juice.
  6. Toss cranberries with barley and wild rice.
  7. Mix reserved orange juice with lemon juice and onion. Whisk in olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Pour dressing over barley mixture.
  9. Add chopped parsley and toasted walnuts; mix well.
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Written by

Emily Levenson is learning to trust her gut all over again. She is committed to listening to AND following the nuggets of wisdom her gut has been dishing out for decades. You can follow Emily's journey here on the blog, through the Nourish + Flourish podcast, and through her posts on Instagram.

5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Yum, Did you make the vegi broth or buy it? If buy what brand did you use? I’m pretty sure the broth I was using has pepper in it. I’m hoping to find an alternative that works for all my girls allergies. Thank you 🙂

    1. Reluctant Veggie

      i actually used the whole foods 365 brand vegetable broth. they are surprisingly nightshade free. we also have a local grocery store chain (giant eagle) that has a fancy version (aka market district brand) that is nightshade free.

      i have been meaning to write down other brand names to send to family when we go visit. next time i am at the store, i will check.

  2. Pingback: The Reluctant Vegetarian

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